Even for a newcomer to the Pub league it would be clear to see that the Quokkas and the John Curtain have enjoyed a rich and friendly cricketing history. This felt like a match full of the kind of characters that made you enjoy playing junior cricket so much… just older and a little more un-sober… which is all very nice and everything until, like the sizeable Alfred Crescent crowd, you bared witness to the exhilarating cliffhanger which resulted. It was sensational cricket theatre, unlike Shane Warne the Musical, surely to be etched into the memories of players and punters alike for at least, well, until tomorrow.
Prior to play the Quokkas took to the field in searing heat in a way almost completely un-reminiscent of ducks to a pond for a bit of a “warm up” – but a reappearance from the nimble Pup and a debut from the soft-handed Tinny, who ended the day with 3 outfield catches, ensured the Quokkas continued their epic run of reasonably proficient fielding.
With play underway the Curtain’s top order curiously took to the Rev’s opening overs (1/9 off 2 overs) like Indian ducks to a pond full of Mitchell Johnston. Solid bowling displays followed from Chef, Cruiser and a very economical Pup before the Curtain’s middle order unleashed some brutal hitting (even by Alfred Crescent standards).
Wickets from Big Dog and Snipper helped to temporarily stem the flow of runs, but as the heat began to take its toll – forcing the reconfiguration of the outfield to the shaded positions only – the Curtain’s lower order again let loose. Tuesday was taken for three consecutive maximums for an over of 18, and captain Snipper – not to be outdone – was then belted for 19. Thankfully the innings wrapped up with some tidy death bowling from Chef 3/18 and Ed 1/25.
Chasing 190 for victory the Quokkas batsmen got stuck in with Local, Pup and Chef hitting retirement scores. Big hitting also came from Tuesday and Tinny with quick scoring cameos from Cruiser and Big Dog… but there was drama to come!
With Radar and the Rev enjoying a leisurely pootle at the crease it came down to the last over with the Quokkas needing 12 to win. The crowd was beginning to get vocal and someone ingeniously decided to tell the batsmen what the score was. That news to Radar was like an intravenous barrel of spinach to a cricketing Popeye. Teeth gritted, veins popping, the first ball of the over was heaved over the offside boundary for six. The second carted through mid-wicket for four and suddenly victory was looming… but the third ball was mishit and skied upwards. The catch was taken as the batsmen began to cross – but in a moment of brilliance the non-striking Rev began to back-peddle, handing the pressure to the newcomer Ed who, amidst wild scenes from the sidelines, dealt the winning boundary with poetic flare.
Congratulations to the Quokkas on a nail-biting win to cap off a strong run into 2015 and have a safe and happy Christmas.